Well now, anyone who says that young adult works of literature and the authors that write them cannot bring ‘it’ to the table, clearly has not met Sarah Dessen.
In her latest novel, Once And For All, Dessen (the anointed queen of YA fiction), brings us the story of Louna, and a tale of triumph over tragedy (well…after a bit of drama- but hey, it’s YA, what else do you expect).
Louna’s summer job takes place at her mother’s wedding planning business, an occupation and an occupational hazard depending on the bride, or the day. Louna narrates her story, opening with a witty, yet stoic ambiance that is so familiar amongst teens. She is savvy with the wedding business, grounded amongst her closest friend Jilly’s crazy plans to party, party, party, and somewhat cold to any potential love interest that comes near.
The cynical teen would appear to be in the wrong business, where happy-ever-afters are meant to be abundant, despite the trials of the aisles. However, Dessen’s story slowly emerges; a sad, beautiful and compassionate tale which asks its readers: is it better to have loved and lost, or to never have loved at all?
The brilliance of Dessen’s writing is seen three fold; firstly, with a wonderful well developed plot which is page turning til the end; secondly, with well developed characters, which include a wonderful supportive mixture of Louna’s family and friends; and finally, and perhaps for me most impressively, Dessen ability to write two very lovely, very different, but equally as heartwarming male love interests, without a love triangle.
I know right? All in the realm of Young Adult literature!
This was a great read, and it reminded me why I do love to read YA. It’s nice to have a good love story from time to time, and this one is it. It has love, loss, grief, healing and self-discovery. Which is a fantastic array of emotional topics to address for this age group.
If you are in the mood for an easy page turner, give this one a try. It was published in June 2017, one of Dessen’s many great works, and you can grab a copy HERE.
Or, of course, you could also ask a librarian to borrow one 😉